Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

An injured victim is aided after a suicide bomb attack on a protest by ethnic Hazaras in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday. An estimated 80 people were killed and 230 wounded, though those figure are expected rise. (Photo: Hedayatullah Amid/EPA)

At Least 80 Dead in Kabul After Massive Attack on Peaceful March

More than two hundred wounded after suicide bombers target protest really by Shia minority group

Common Dreams staff

At least 80 people were killed, and more than 230 wounded, in Kabul on Saturday by suicide bombers who targeted a peaceful protest march by ethnic Hazaras, a minority Shia group in Afghanistan.

"We were holding a peaceful demonstration when I heard a bang and then everyone was escaping and yelling," Sabira Jan, a protestor who witnessed the attack and saw bloodied bodies strewn across the ground, told Reuters. "There was no one to help."

In a statement issued by its news agency, Amaq, the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack – reported as the deadliest in Kabul since the U.S. invasion overthew the Taliban government in 2001.

According to the Associated Press:

If the ISIS claim is correct, the bombing would mark the first time the group has launched an attack in the Afghan capital. ISIS has been building a presence along Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan, mostly in Nangarhar province, for the past year.

President Ashraf Ghani, speaking live on television, said that Sunday would be a national day of mourning.

Earlier, Waheed Majroeh, the head of international relations for the Ministry of Public Health, said the death toll was likely to rise "as the condition of many of the injured is very serious."

Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of horror and carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square.

The Guardian adds:

Hazaras have historically suffered discrimination and persecution. The protesters were marching against government plans for a major power project to bypass Bamiyan, a predominantly Hazara province in the central highlands. Following similar protests in May, Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, established a commission to look into the issue but government attempts to find a compromise failed. On 19 June, a contract was signed to build a smaller electricity line through Bamiyan, which did not placate Hazara activists.

In the hours after the attack, details of casualties were unclear, but some security forces seemed to have been among the killed. As people were frantically calling friends present at the protests, calls went out on social media for blood donations to the city’s poorly resourced hospitals. “I was standing by the side of the crowd, behind an ice cream truck,” said one protester, Aman Turkmani. When the blast happened, “first the ice cream cart exploded, then he exploded. The sound of the explosion was very strong,” he said.

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·


War, Disasters Drive 'All-Time High' of Nearly 60 Million Displaced in Home Nations

The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council noted the situation "is phenomenally worse than even our record figure suggests" because it does not include those forced to flee Russia's assault on Ukraine.

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Climate Movement Warn Nations Have Just 6 Months to End Fossil Fuel Finance

"The pandemic has shown that governments can rapidly mobilize massive sums of public money," says one campaigner. "This is the moment to do it, and accelerate the transition."

Brett Wilkins ·


Analysis: 26 US Billionaires Paid Average Tax Rate of Just 4.8% in Recent Years

"When you include their untaxed wealth growth in the calculation, many billionaires pay almost nothing," said Frank Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness.

Jake Johnson ·


'We Were Expecting This,' Says Family After Israel Says No Criminal Probe Into Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

The development came as leading international artists called for "meaningful measures to ensure accountability for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh and all other Palestinian civilians."

Andrea Germanos ·

Common Dreams Logo